City of Beacon, NY
Dutchess County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the City of Beacon 11-20-2000 by L.L. No. 17-2000.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Drugs — See Ch. 101.
Graffiti — See Ch. 132.
Peace and good order — See Ch. 159.
Peddling and soliciting — See Ch. 163.
[1]
Editor's Note: This local law was adopted as Ch. 39, but was renumbered to fit into the organizational scheme of the Code.

§ 145-1 Legislative findings and intent.

The Council finds that the General City Law has recently been amended by adding a new provision which allows cities to adopt anti-loitering laws and ordinances. The Council further finds that "quality of life" issues are of paramount importance to citizens of Beacon, affecting not only their physical well-being and safety, but their very sense of urban self. Persons engaged in unlawful conduct in public places harass and unduly interfere with the lawful use and enjoyment of such public places thereby constituting a danger to the public health and safety. The Council therefore finds it appropriate for the protection of the public safety and welfare to enact legislation to ensure that public safety is not jeopardized by acts of loitering when they are committed for the purpose of intimidation, coercion, harassment, menacing or assaultive conduct in violation of applicable state law. In addition, the City of Beacon has identified a significant trade in controlled substances and marijuana on the streets of the City of Beacon with the resulting increase in crimes related to such street trade. The purpose of the following provisions of this chapter is to add to the crime-fighting abilities of the City of Beacon Police Department by prohibiting loitering for the specific illegal purposes of possessing or using marijuana or a controlled substance.

§ 145-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES
Any substance listed in Schedule I, II, III, IV or V of § 3306 of the Public Health Law other than marijuana.
MARIJUANA
Marijuana or concentrated cannabis, as those terms are defined in § 3302 of the Public Health Law.
A. 
Every vehicle operated or driven upon a public highway which is propelled by any power other than muscular power, except:
(1) 
Electrically driven mobility-assistance devices operated or driven by a person with a disability.
(2) 
Vehicles which run only upon rails or tracks.
(3) 
Snowmobiles as defined in Article 47 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.
B. 
The term "motor vehicle" shall exclude fire and police vehicles.
PUBLIC PLACE
A place to which the public or a substantial group of persons has access, and includes but is not limited to any street, highway, sidewalk, bridge, alley or alleyway, plaza, park, parking lot or transportation facility, school, place of amusement or playground or the doorways and entranceways to any building which fronts on any of the aforesaid places or a motor vehicle in or on any such place and hallways, lobbies and other portions of apartment houses and hotels not constituting rooms or apartments designed for actual residence.

§ 145-3 Loitering prohibited.

A. 
No person shall loiter or remain in a public place for the purpose of:
(1) 
Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic, in a manner that would constitute a violation of § 240.20 of the New York State Penal Law; or
(2) 
Engaging in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior in a manner that would constitute a violation of § 240.20 of the New York State Penal Law; or
(3) 
Engaging in a course of conduct designed to harass, seriously annoy or alarm another person and which serves no other legitimate purpose, and in a manner that would constitute a violation of § 240.26 of the New York State Penal Law.
B. 
No person shall loiter or remain in or about the premises of any commercial business entity for a purpose unconnected with lawful business or related activities, not having any specific legitimate reason for being there and not having permission from anyone authorized to grant the same. A legitimate reason shall be a reason connected to the purpose for which the commercial business entity exists.
C. 
Loitering for the purpose of using or possessing marijuana or a controlled substance prohibited. A person is guilty of loitering when he or she loiters or remains in a public place for the purpose of possessing or using marijuana or a controlled substance.
D. 
Guidelines for law enforcement. In order to make an arrest of a person under the section pertaining to possessing marijuana or a controlled substance, a police officer or other person must have observed conduct of the subject individually or in conjunction with another which would reasonably lead a police officer to the conclusion that the subject is present for the purpose of using or possessing marijuana or a controlled substance.

§ 145-4 Objective guidelines for law enforcement.

Among the circumstances that may be considered by law enforcement officers in determining whether a violation of this chapter has occurred are the following:
A. 
The person engages in furtive gestures or movements manifesting or endeavoring an attempt to conceal himself or herself or an object; or
B. 
The person takes immediate flight upon appearance or identification of a law enforcement officer; or
C. 
The person is observed repeatedly following another person or persons in or about a public place or places.

§ 145-5 Freedom of expression protected.

No provision of this chapter shall be construed or interpreted so as to prohibit expression protected by the laws of the United States or New York State, or to prohibit acts authorized by a permit issued pursuant to Chapter 163 of this Code entitled, "Peddling and Soliciting."

§ 145-6 Penalties for offenses.

If any party violates the provisions of this chapter or engages in conduct in violation of this chapter, he or she shall be subject to punishment as follows:
A. 
For a first offense, a fine in an amount not less than $50 nor more than $250.
B. 
For a second or more offenses, a fine in an amount not less than $100 nor more than $500. Each incidence of any violation of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense.

§ 145-7 Enforcement.

The provisions of this chapter can be enforced by the City of Beacon Police Department and any other police officer or peace officer or other person who can lawfully make an arrest.